When I say position, I'm talking about orientation relative to the plane of the existing pickups, not physical proximity. Of course you can move the coil to a cavity, but if it's oriented along a different plane relative to the pickups, you can and will pick up different amounts of hum. Rotating within the plane defined by the existing pickups, like you described, does nothing. We're saying the same thing.alexpigment wrote: ↑Mon Feb 22, 2021 2:38 pm
It's not that I prefer the dummy coil sound in any notable way. I only started using them when I moved into a location that had a hum problem and I wanted desperately to keep my *existing* sound. I tried various noiseless sets and couldn't get the tone I already had. At any rate, I do understand the science of all this from a fairly basic standpoint. What I'm saying is that I had a toggle, and when the toggle was switched, there was very little tonal difference. That's not really a scientific analysis, but it is what I would call an indisputable statement. This may be related to my pickup choices, pots, positioning, and many other details. Who knows why your experience differed so much.
As for the orientation and placement, I disagree with that fairly wholeheartedly. I know with certainty that the axis is the most important factor (they should both be pointing at the same magnetic direction). The other factors are much, much less important. As you almost certainly know, the middle position on a JM is pretty darn quiet, and the pickups are quite far apart. The strings may sound very different under those two pickup positions, but the hum/interference they pick up should be relatively the same. The same principle certainly applies to normal humbuckers.
More importantly, turning the dummy coil 90 degrees CW/CCW from the orientation of the pickups seems to have very little effect, and is not at all worth the trouble of trying to shoehorn (or route) into a cavity that will not accept them. Fender has known this for years, as they always install the dummy coils in applicable models (certain Strats) along the side of the control knobs, so roughly 45 degrees from the actual pickups in the guitar. My Fender Powerhouse Strat from 98, which came factory with a dummy coil is exactly like this. The guitar is at least as silent as any humbucker guitar I have (and actually more silent in some cases).
In other words, I understand what you're saying from a scientific standpoint, but you'll have to trust that I've done the testing on this, and extensively so, and I think I can speak with some authority that your points are not universally true or relevant in practice. I don't know why your JM sounded so vastly different with a dummy coil, but I ask that you resist the urge to counter these points based on your own less-than-ideal experience, as I believe this information may be very useful to the OP who is asking specifically about Ilitch alternatives.
I'm glad you're happy with your dummy coils.